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ANCAJAS-SULTAN DATE WITH BOXING HISTORY IS PLAIN WORK AND NOTHING PERSONAL


PhilBoxing.com




The date with Philippine boxing history was delayed a little bit, as the highly-awaited IBF superflyweight title bout between champion Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas and challenger Jonas "Zorro" Sultan has been postponed to another schedule.

The title bout was originally set for April 14 in Las Vegas, but the delay happens when the WBO welterweight world title bout between Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford was postponed due to Crawford's hand injury sustained during practice.

"He hurt his hand hitting a guy on top of the head gear," Bob Arum told Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. "We've gotten him treated by the best hand doctors. He had an MRI, and there is no ligament tear, thank God. The doctor prescribed two weeks of rest, and then he should be ready to go. We'll put the fight sometime in late May or early June, but that depends on how Terence's hand is feeling."

Arum said that the Ancajas-Sultan title bout could remain on the undercard of the Horn-Crawford championship main event, or it could be moved to the undercard of the newly-scheduled Jorge Linares-Vasyl Lomachenko fight for May 12 in New York.

It is supposed to be Ancajas' fifth defense of his IBF junior bantamweight title, while Sultan became the mandatory challenger after upsetting the heavily-favored former two-division world champion Johnriel Casimero in a title eliminator in Cebu last year.

It will be the first time two Filipino boxers clashed for a world title fight since Pancho Villa defended his belt against Clever Sencio in 1925 at Wallace Field, now Luneta in Manila. It was Villa’s penultimate fight before his death. The Ancajas-Sultan match will also be the first all-Filipino title fight in U.S. history.

Arum informed both Joven Jimenez, head trainer and manager of Ancajas, and Michael Aldeguer, CEO of ALA Promotions which promotes Sultan. According to matchmaker Sean Gibbons, Arum is planning to move the fight on May 12 or late May as the possible dates of the championship fight card. He said Arum wants to finalize the new schedule in the next few days.

It was Gibbons who arranged Ancajas’ successful fourth title defense against Mexican Israel Gonzalez in February 3, 2018, at the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Top Rank also reserved April 28 in Philadelphia for the Ancajas-Sultan showdown, but he later chose the WBO super bantamweight title bout between Jessie Magdaleno and mandatory challenger Isaac Dogboe.

When their encounter initially was set for April 14 in Las Vegas, champion Ancajas and mandatory challenger Sultan showed the same feelings upon knowing that their IBF 115-lb. title fight will happen.

For Ancajas and Sultan, their scheduled 12-round title tiff at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas is just plain work and nothing personal.

“It's just work, nothing personal,” said Ancajas, who will make the fifth defense of the IBF junior bantamweight crown in his first fight in Las Vegas.

“We cannot do anything,” said Sultan, who practices at the ALA Boxing Gym in Cebu City. Still, Sultan thinks it is unpleasant to see two Filipinos clash for a world title.

Ancajas and Sultan look amiable to each other, but will be on combat mood when they finally face in the ring battle after the fight postponement.

Arum is excited to show Ancajas once again before the American crowd. “He’s a very special fighter and is becoming extremely popular,” said Arum.

Ancajas has 29-1-1 record with 20 KOs while Sultan is14-3 slate with nine KO wins. Ancajas won the IBF title over Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo in Taguig in September 2016.

Last year, Ancajas defended his title by stopping Mexican Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in Macau, Japanese Teiru Kinoshita in Australia and Irish Jamie Conlan of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The Philippine Sportswriters Association chose Ancajas as Athlete of the Year awardee for 2017.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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